In the roofing industry, much of your business is dependant on your reputation. Although there are many factors that converge to create your reputation, the quality of your business relationships are a big part of it. If you are known for treating your clients and associates well, you’re likely to receive repeat or referral business and build strong relationships. Entering litigation with a client or supplier can sometimes give the appearance of not being able to solve problems peacefully.
In this article, a roofing lawyer explains types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and how they work.
As one of the less formal ADR methods, mediation has many benefits. Mediation is led by a neutral third party who guides the parties toward a resolution. However, they do not decide what the outcome is for the mediation. Mediation is much quicker than litigation as it doesn’t include as many phases (e.g., discovery, pre-trial conference, trial, post-trial motions). Because mediation takes less time, you can get back to your jobsite quicker. The process of mediation is also more cost effective than litigation.
The parties involved have much more control over how the process is carried out and must come to an agreement as to what they want the outcome to be. For people who want to continue working together, a good mediation experience can strengthen bonds. Unfortunately, the agreement reached in mediation is non-binding, so it will not work for every situation. Mediation may not work for two parties who can’t agree on a resolution. In that case, arbitration may be a better method.
Arbitration is a good solution if an outside party is needed to decide the outcome of the dispute. The parties involved both present their cases to the arbitrator, however it remains less formal than litigation. An arbitrator is a neutral party who may be selected by the disputing parties by mutual agreement. In some cases, there may be more than one arbitrator.
The parties involved have more control over the outcome of arbitration than litigation but not as much as mediation. The decision made by the arbitrator can be binding or non-binding depending on the agreement set out at the beginning of the process.
Adding ADR to Your Contracts
Including an ADR clause in your contracts can help prevent future litigation with clients or suppliers. A roofing attorney can help you add the appropriate language to your contracts so any future conflicts you’re involved in can be mediated or arbitrated.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.